The Office Season 9 Review “The Whale”

The Office Season 9 Episode 7 The Whale

This week on “The Office,” we got another Dwight-centric episode in “The Whale,” with a plate of Oscar/Angela intrigue on the side. This being the last season of the show, and with Dwight far and away the most reliably funny member of the gang still standing- with a notable nod to MVP Darryl (Craig Robinson) – I can’t say I had any problem with that, least of all with Rainn Wilson clearly in his element.

This time out, the adept salesman was sent to apply his skills to one of a paper company’s most sought-after and reliable clients: the White Pages, as in the phone book. It was Dwight’s job to land this great white “whale”- hence the title- only there was a key problem: the person in charge of making the deal was a woman, and dealing with women has never been his strong suit.

Thus, it was up to the ladies of “The Office” to try and whip Dwight into shape, emphasis on “try.” Take this wonderfully perverse bit of insight into the mind of Dwight: “I will tell her what her needs are and then fill them. [I’ll tell her] This is gonna work out best for you if you just relax and do nothing, and once I’m finished- it’s over.” As ever, Wilson’s beauty is in his deadpan delivery.

Indeed, when Nellie tried to get him to smile and nod in acquiescence to everything his potential client said, she noted, hilariously: “He looks like he’s laboring over a stool, having just eaten human flesh.” LOL, and so true. Why no one has cast this guy as a serial killer by now is anyone’s guess, though he came close in the underrated “The Super.”

As it turned out, there was no need, as the woman in charge was no ordinary woman, but none other than Jan (Melora Hardin), looking just as predatory-cougar as we last left her. To that end, Dwight got on the horn and ordered her up some Clark to go and the deal was done. Funny stuff, especially the slide show she showed Pam with the soundtrack from hell, with Jan singing like someone stepping on barrel of cats. She may be pretty, but that voice…another matter entirely.

Meanwhile, poor Angela is convinced her husband is cheating on her with the yoga instructor. Oscar, the one actually cheating with him, tries to steer her away from the thought- until he realizes that the instructor might be a man, and thus, her husband may be two-timing him as well. Though it did turn out to be a girl, she had a boyfriend, so Angela was placated, until Oscar saw him flirting with a fellow male student, and alerted Angela to the fact that he might be gay. Then, he called Oscar…and scene. Oops!

There’s going to be some explaining to do on Oscar’s end, and he walked right into that one. I’ve never particularly sympathized with Angela, for obvious reasons- though the actress playing her, Angela Kinsey, actually seems like a sweetheart in real life- but there’s a first time for everything, and my heart went out to her in this situation, which no one should have to go through.

Funny lines: Erin, lamenting that Andy went on his boat trip without her: “I was sad, then I remembered that song “NO woman- NO Cry.” (Such a wonderfully Erin thing to say!)

Dwight, to Erin, after telling everyone else to “Eat it!” when he was declared the best salesman in the office: “Where’s Stanley? Will you run into the bathroom and tell him to “Eat it”?” (She did just that, hilariously.)

Oscar, almost getting caught: “I literally have nightmares in which what just happened happens. I wake up in a sweat- and then I make Angela’s husband spoon me back to bed.” (The smarmy way he said that, you just knew something was about to happen.)

Pam, on how being a mom changed her: “I used to watch “Pulp Fiction” and laugh. Now I’m like…that poor gimp is somebody’s child.”

Overall, “The Whale” was a solid if unspectacular episode. Still, you’ve cherish those Dwight moments, as they’re about to be gone, gone, gone…unless, of course, NBC okays a spin-off! Fingers crossed!

What did you think of “The Office” this week? Would a Dwight-centric sitcom be awesome? Did Oscar deserve to be caught, or did Angela simply get what was coming to her? Did you get a kick out of seeing Jan again? Are you glad there wasn’t a make-out scene with her and Clark? Let me know in the comments!

About The Author

Mark Trammell is the resident entertainment critic at UAB, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is also a Graduate Student and does a vid-cast movie review show. His impossible dream is that "Twin Peaks" will one day be resurrected and pick up where it left off. Until then, he drowns his woes in anything remotely similar, from "Buffy" to "Lost" to "Pretty Little Liars." This has not always been a good thing-cough, "Ringer", cough- but now at least it can help pay the bills.

  • Calvin

    You need to better articulate and write your reviews. Right now it’s just all summary and bland, no-voice words. Instead of summarizing the episode for a page, tell us how you felt about it or how it was organized. I also disagree with you stating that the episode was “unspectacular.” In fact, I and others think that this was the best episode of this season let alone compared to season 8: the characters were less overdramatic and less cartoonish and the quality felt much like the early seasons of the office. Also, The Farm, Rain Wilson’s spinoff, was canceled, that news was out more than a week ago.

  • Mark Trammell

    News flash- when critics resort to summarizing, it’s typically because they don’t have a lot to say because the show is subpar. If I like something, it shows in my writing, as you can see from some of the other reviews I have written for this site. (See, for instance, this one: http://www.tvequals.com/2012/10/24/pretty-little-liars-season-3-review-this-is-a-dark-ride/ )

    Note how much higher my enthusiasm level is when I’m engaged! I also don’t spell out the plot & situation as much bc I assume we’re all on the same page.

    I’m sorry if I don’t feign enthusiasm for a show that’s clearly on its last legs figuratively and creatively simply bc it’s the last season. But if I’m engaged, you can tell, trust me. They can’t all be winners! that said, what works- or doesn’t work- for me might work just fine for others. It’s just one person’s POV.

    Sorry to say, I just wasn’t engaged here, and I do love me Dwight/Rainn Wilson. I’m sorry to hear that his spin-off didn’t get picked up. At this point, as I said in my review, he’s one of the only things worth watching here.
    I did give some of the other episodes this season better reviews, though this one wasn’t doing it for me for the most part. I definitely think this season is a step up from last, though, so there’s that. Hopefully, there will be some good ones before we’re done. Fingers crossed!
    Regardless of our opposing points-of-view I really do appreciate the feedback!

  • Tommy

    It’s left it on the table for Dwight and Angela to get back together. Just like Jim and Pam they’ve been perfect for each other all along.